Monday, April 5, 2010

My "Charles Atlas business card"

 As a kid growing up, I read lots of comic books and part of my ritual was reading – over and over – the Charles Atlas Dynamic Tension Course ads that appeared on the inside cover. Ask any middle-age man if they did this too and their answer will almost always be a guaranteed yes.

Charles Atlas made millions of dollars selling his Dynamic Tension exercise course, appealing to a market of insecure young boys who wanted to be bigger and stronger. His “Mac the 97-lb. weakling” comic that appeared in these ads was a classic and genius marketing strategy that played on the insecurities of his young boy targeted market. A photo of a strong and young-looking Charles Atlas flexing his muscles and wearing a pair of leopard-design swimming trunks was also part of his comic book ads.

I once remember telling my Dad that I wanted to be fit and strong like Charles Atlas in the comic book ad photo. At that time, I honestly believed that was how he looked. Well my jaw dropped when my Dad dropped a bomb on me that the photo was an old one and Charles Atlas was about 80-years old. His comment stunned me and made me feel like I had just been punched in the stomach or told that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus weren’t real.

About 17 years ago, I got the bright idea to have my photo on my business card so I had a professional photographer client take some photos of me wearing a suit and tie. When I selected the photo that would be used, I “announced” that it would be the one and only photo on my business card for the rest of my career.

To this day, that photo of me – a 38-year young little business man - still appears on my “Charles Atlas business card”.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

4 comments:

Charles Long said...

I used to read comic books and I used to read the Atlas ads. Good photo on the business card. You don't look much different now.

pierini said...

Thanks Charles, the check is in the mail.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Guess I am in the minority; I recall seeing those ads in passing, but paid them no attention. Never collected comics, either......
pierini, keep up the good work; I always give kudos to fellow middle aged guys who walk their talk.

MBS of the desert.

pierini said...

Thanks for the kudos and visit MBS. Let me extend an open invitation to you to serve as a guest blogger if you are ever up to the duty. The world of middle-age men are "crying" for guidance.

Have a great day!